Whether or not you know Toni Breidinger (@ToniBreidinger) in and around racing, you probably will soon. The 22 year old California native made history as the first Arab-American female driver in the circuit’s history. She is the all-time winningest female in United States Auto Club (USAC) history with 19 wins, a record that helped her move into NASCAR’s ARCA Menards Series this year. In her first race, she finished in 18th place out of 33 — ahead of the two other women who competed, in February at Daytona, and has expanded her schedule this summer and fall. Toni is one of 10 females competing across NASCAR races this season, and already has one of the largest and most engaged social following in all of NASCAR.
That following has led to a new partnership with Triller, the disruptive multimedia platform geared toward a young progressive audience, as it grows its sports presence. Triller is a key sponsor of Toni’s team for the remainder of 2021. We talked social engagement, responsibility and life as a young female racer.
SportsMedia Report: How does a partnership like Triller grow your brand?
Tony Breidinger: Triller is a social media platform that uses artificial intelligence technology that allows me to interact with my existing fans and connect to new fans who I can introduce to the sport. There are a lot of different social platforms out there right now, but Triller resonates with me. I only partner with products or platforms that I would use myself, and Triller lets me use a new platform to be able to share with a great audience.
SMR: Brands are always looking for a way to reach a younger audience, what are some of the areas of interest you have that would attract brands today, maybe ones not involved in racing?
TB: My life revolves around racing but I do have interests and passions outside of Motorsports. I love makeup and fashion so my partnerships with Huda Beauty and Free People’s FP Movement was a perfect match for me. It’s exciting that we’ve been able to bring brands into the sport for the first time ever! Getting to blend names like Huda Beauty and Free People into the racing world was an opportunity I couldn’t believe I got to experience.
SMR: NASCAR has never seen tremendous success with women drivers, yet you already have a strong track record (no pun intended). How do you balance racing success with growing your media presence?
TB: It can be difficult to balance social media and my career at times. Social media is amazing in the sense that I can interact with my fans and share my racing journey and everyday life with such a diverse audience. However, social media also has its downsides when it comes to mental health. I think the best way to find balance is to make sure I log off and take a step away from social media sometimes, especially on race day, when I need to be completely focused and ready to perform. I try to pay close attention to what I feel is the best for my mental health.
SMR: In terms of time commitment and management, can you walk us through a race week? How much time is sponsor devoted, how much is race dedicated?
TB: During race week if I’m not preparing for my race I’m spending my time fulfilling sponsorship needs. Racing is a pay to play sport so I wouldn’t even be at the racetrack without my sponsors. I dedicate as much time as possible to each of them equally. 50% of my time goes to preparing for race day and 50% is devoted to my sponsors. Time management is essential to get through my race week efficiently and it’s something I’ve really learned and worked at.
SMR: Who do you view in terms of athletes, not just women, who have been able to balance success in business and athletics? anyone you are trying to emulate?
TB: Lewis Hamilton does an amazing job balancing business and athletics. He’s out there winning championships and at his peak performance while also having successful side hustles. That is “time management” goals for sure. I aspire to be able to balance things like that and enjoy not just racing but my other passions as well.
SMR: If we look ahead a year from now, where would you like to see your business and racing career, at the end of 2022?
TB: A year from now on the business side of things I’d like to have grown my current partnerships and have new relationships with brands as well. I want to have brought more new companies into motorsports that have never been. Business relationships are so important for your career, and I hope to be able to join up with more brands that no one has ever partnered with before. For my racing career – I hope to have run a full season of ARCA, and do five Truck races in NASCAR.